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35. Chinese steamed eggs/ ji dan geng



How to make Chinese steamed egg recipe

Chinese steamed eggs

I am not sure if this is a common recipe across the whole China. What I am certain about is that almost everyone in the Northeast has eaten steamed eggs at some point, especially during childhood.

As I already mentioned in my previous posting about eggs in Chinese cuisine , steamed eggs are a popular choice for kids that are just starting to eat solid food, and are still unable to chew properly. They are very convenient, because they are both tasty and easy to swallow, and at the same time, they are very nutritious.

Steamed eggs , however, are not only a dish for small kids; they are also ideal for a quick, simple, and healthy Chinese breakfast , and they can also be part of lunch or dinner. Steamed eggs are particularly well-suited for people having upset stomach, or who lost appetite while having a cold. In fact, since I made it first time for my husband, he decided that it would be a perfect breakfast dish.

It is too homey a dish, and hence you won’t be able to find it in any restaurants (except for some food courts in China during lunchtime). Steamed eggs can be eaten with either Chinese steamed bread or with boiled rice (you can also eat them on their own if your stomach is upset).

It is just made from eggs, has very strong egg flavor. The texture is a bit like a “Flan” (a French dessert), but it is savory, rather than sweet. (So it has been difficult for me accept the sweet version of steamed eggs).

Saying that it is easy to make … but you really need to get the proportions of eggs, water, and oil right, otherwise it can be… I failed so many times before. :))

It is normally steamed with small rice bowls to contain the egg mix. This is one of the few dishes in Chinese cuisine cooked in individual portion. But in these photos, since I only cooked for two of us, so I used a deep edged plate.

Here you go how I did it.

The recipe: Chinese steamed eggs


Eggs (I normally use 3-4 eggs for two – three people)

Oil, sesame oil (optional), salt.


(If you are making it for more people, you can use a mix bowl, whisk the eggs mix the seasoning, then pour in small rice bowls to steam).

1) In deep edged plate, break three eggs, and whisk well.

Chinese recipe: steamed eggs 

2) Pour in double amount of water (compare to eggs), and add in 1 tablespoon of oil, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 2/3 teaspoon of salt, mix everything well together. (Some people say that it is salt helping the eggs firming together, so too little salt is not great. Mix well from the bottom, because salt could sink quickly.

3) Put enough water in a steamer, and place the plate or the small rice bowls in it.

Chinese ji dan gengMake Chinese steamed eggs

4) Cover the lid, use strong fire steam for about 8 minutes or you can check if the egg mix is ‘firming’. I say it is firming, it is really comparing to the liquid form, it is supposed to be very soft, jelly like. Sometimes, I use a spoon to check if all the liquid is done.

Chinese egg recipeSteamed eggs 

—– Serve!! Be careful the plate or bowls can be extremely hot.

When the lid is removed, you will see a beautiful warm yellow coloured soft eggs in the steamer. If you like, you can put some dried shrimps on the top. If you made Shaobing (which was introduced in my another post), try the combination, I am sure you will like it.

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3 Responses to “35. Chinese steamed eggs/ ji dan geng”

  1. >Sometime in restaurants here, in Harbin and Jinan (Shandong) we have had a dish of egg with some clams set in it. Is this the same type of steamed egg? Could you add clams to this recipe? It is really what I would call 'comfort' food!

    Posted by herschelian | June 17, 2011, 12:31 pm
  2. >I am not sure. But we normally put dried shrimps in, so I guess they might put clams in. Actually I just checked, yes, they do. One of the recipes is that they mix the fresh clams with egg mix together, and steam. After taking it out, add a few drops of sesame oil, and chopped coriander. :))
    Thanks for mentioning, I just learned a new recipe. :))

    Posted by B@cookingsimplechineseathome | June 17, 2011, 8:49 pm
  3. >Sure, it is a common recipe all over China. It is a really good reading regarding how to cook a jidengeng, i failed n tried many times; i think the key lies on the "proportion" of egg n water,n the followed by steam time; whereas the these 2 "factors" determine the texture of the jidengeng finally. Your proportion is double the amount of egg,and i also learn from another Cook show on Youtube suggesting 1:1 and the use of "boiled water", which could make the Chinese jidengeng taste like the Japanese 茶碗蒸. :-P I like reading your blog.

    Posted by Flora@google | June 18, 2011, 1:20 pm

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